West Pharmaceutical Services, a global manufacturer of pharmaceutical packaging and delivery systems, opened its new manufacturing plant in Waterford, Ireland, in July 2018, as part of an expansion of global manufacturing operations.

The new manufacturing unit is initially producing packaging components for insulin injection cartridges and other high-value packaging components, which are in high demand. On further expansion, it will manufacture other advanced packaging components for injectable drug products for pharmaceutical and biotech customers.

Construction on the new facility began in June 2015 with an estimated investment of €100m ($125.7m). The facility currently employs 100 people and plans to hire more people in the future.

Location advantages of West’s Waterford plant

Baxter Pharmaceutical Solutions provides a range of contract manufacturing and packaging services for small-to-medium sized pharmaceutical companies.

The new manufacturing plant is spread across 20,500m² in the 44-acre campus at Knockhouse on Old Kilmeaden Road in Waterford. The company chose Waterford as an ideal location for setting up the new facility due to the flourishing health science industry and business-friendly environment in the region.

West Pharmaceutical has a manufacturing and development centre in Mulhuddart, Dublin, which is the European headquarters for its subsidiary, the Tech Group.

The Tech Group specialises in providing device design, development and manufacturing services for pharmaceutical and med-tech customers. Its Dublin facility was established in 2005 and currently employs approximately 600 people.

Construction of the component manufacturing plant

“The new manufacturing unit is initially producing packaging components for insulin injection cartridges and other high-value packaging components, which are in high demand.”

The new pharmaceutical packaging components plant in Waterford is a centre of excellence for producing West’s proprietary elastomeric sheeting. The sheets are used to package insulin, which are used in pen injectors. The facility will also manufacture finishing components such as stoppers and plungers.

The Waterford site is also the first West Pharmaceutical site to manufacture its latest Westar® offering, Westar Select. The new product reduces and provides tighter particulate specification.

With diabetes emerging as one of the fastest growing diseases worldwide, the company plans for future expansion of the Waterford facility, which will create additional manufacturing space for West’s proprietary injectable component product line. This is an essential component to a number of injectable and dosage forms. Expansion is expected to create approximately 250-300 job opportunities.

Marketing commentary on West Pharmaceutical Services

Established in 1923, West Pharmaceutical Services is involved in the designing and manufacturing of packaging and delivery systems for parenterally administered medicines such as injections. It supplies products to biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical and medical device companies around the world. The company recorded $1.42bn sales in 2014.

The Waterford facility is one of the many investments announced by the company in its facilities, including Kinston, North Carolina; Jurong, Singapore; and Dublin, Ireland. These investments are expected to enable the company to produce high-quality products and services for its customers.